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Should you have more than one health care agent?

The threat of serious illness or injury looms over everyone. Even if you adhere to a relatively healthy lifestyle, you could still find yourself in a situation that results in your incapacitation. Whether the issue stems from a degenerative mental disorder, physical illness or serious injuries due to an accident, you could end up in a predicament where you cannot adequately make necessary health-related decisions for yourself.

Luckily, you can create a power of attorney document that names a health care agent. This agent acts on your behalf when it comes to making decisions about treatments, locations for care, whether certain procedures should take place and numerous other decisions that could affect your care. Therefore, you should trust your appointed agent implicitly and know that he or she will act responsibly.

Multiple health care agents

You may think that naming two or more health care agents may prevent certain family members from feeling left out or experiencing other unnecessary hard feelings. In most cases, having only one health care agent proves more beneficial than having multiple agents. Having more than one agent could cause issues if the agents do not agree on your care. As a result, family members could endure conflicts, and your care could face delays as the arguments may have to reach conclusions before treatment or procedures move forward.

Rather than choosing multiple agents in hopes of not hurting anyone's feelings, you may wish to instead discuss your choice with your family and help everyone get on the same page regarding your wants and needs.

Alternate health care agents

Though naming multiple agents to work together may not always prove wise, you could name alternate or back-up agents. You may feel it useful to have alternate agents in case your primary agent becomes unable or unwilling to carry out necessary duties pertaining to your health care. Additionally, you may use this route to include multiple family members or other trusted individuals without opening the way for potential conflicts between multiple primary agents.

You may also wish to remember that alternate agents will take on the same duties as a primary agent would. Therefore, you should give your alternate choices just as much consideration as naming your primary health care agent.

If you do not want to leave your health care decisions up to chance, you may wish to take the time to properly and legally appoint your health care power of attorney agent. Discussing your options with an experienced Florida attorney could help you determine the most important aspects to consider and how to ensure that your choice is legally binding.

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